Poland: Tenants’ activities in Poznan in 2011

We may consider the passing year two-way in the domain of tenants’ issues in Poznań. Firstly, it was a breakthrough year, mainly because of developing collaboration with residents of the city. Secondly, growing part of the community has begun to experience raising effects of the economic crisis, tied with antisocial policies of the city hall, as well as they perceived no influence whatsoever over the common budget management.

The city authorities decided to bear the enormous costs of building a football stadium and the upcoming Euro 2012 promotion, rather than to engage in real citizens’ problems. The program of mass evictions has been launched instead of developing social accommodation and a portacabins ghetto has been built on Sredzka street.

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Together with the residents, activists were blocking those evictions, taking part in the council sessions, debates over Poznan’s “revitalization” effects, conducted independent research in the Jeżyce quarter and finally — they were marching the streets in protest and to claim their rights.

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During the campaign against “social” portacabins, there were insights proceeded in the towns of Skoczów, Bytom, Sosnowiec, Żory, Nowa Sól and Józefów.

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One of the first actions including Poznań’s tenants, was the aforementioned independent research which exposed the situation of the revitalizing quarter of Jeżyce. The goal of this research was to show the real situation and to commence a form of discussion with the very residents on the increasing expenses of the basic subsistence. The published report was later handed out to the participants. An open meeting at Rozbrat was also organized.

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Activists, following the increasing number of people complaining over their accommodation- and subsistence-related problems, have installed a phone-line with the motto “Stop evictions!”, preparing the fields of cooperation in the course of developing offensive strategies, exposing problems, eviction blockades and free judicial aid.

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We’ve succeeded in the foundation of the Greater Poland Tenants’ Association, which is to empower further action in the name of their rights, and against malicious practices of landlords and the city hall.

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On the other hand, the biggest defeat is undoubtedly the construction of 10 portacabins in Poznań that were supposed to be inhabited already in January (it still hasn’t happened)... It is though a defeat of City Mayor Ryszard Grobelny and the Municipal Housing Agency (ZKZL), too. The decision to buy and install the portacabins has shown that the authorities don’t count with neither NGOs nor residents nor council members.

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While admitted by officials, that ghetto on the Sredzka street is not a solution of the troubled residents, authorities still haven’t laid any regard on the opinion of social workers, activists, councils etc. and have been consequently pushing towards finalization of the development. Protests, complaints, pressure for a discussion and a report about socioeconomic conclusions of the concept have all accomplished nothing — the report has not been prepared, so wasn’t any program for future residents of the ghetto. The city government has put its foot down, and residents alone will pay for their faulty decisions.

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Nationwide cooperation with tenants’ associations and with Workers’ Initiative Trade Union members has tightened along with series of co-participation in direct actions (which took place in Warsaw, Gdańsk, Łódz, Nowa Sól) with experience sharing and discussions.

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We should now bid a deal over strict cooperation concerning nationwide rises of rents and diminishing municipal housing. Possible ways of resistance against the rises and practice of replacing municipal housing with portacabins covered as penitentiary for trouble residents were commonly discussed to date. On this field, activist circles of Poznań are starting works in the Upper Silesia area, where the goal is the foundation of Social Portacabins Tenants’ Association in course of strengthening claims for better accommodation.

 

http://www.rozbrat.org

About tahriricn

bringing together anarchist perspectives from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe

Posted on May 2, 2012, in Economical Crisis, Europe and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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